Money is a great means for teaching
math because it is easily available and useful. Children are motivated because
this is a medium that they want to understand.
You can do a lot with ten dimes and ten pennies. I start here because our
number system is built on the understanding of ten.
Begin by counting pennies, which reinforces the
concept of counting by ones. In addition to saying the number words, I would
have paper and writing tools handy so that children can write the numbers or
see them when you write them. Also have the children handle the coins.
Saying the numbers, writing and looking at the
numbers, and handling the coins will be useful because some children learn
predominantly by what they hear, some by what they see, and some by what they
When children understand this, count by tens using
the dimes. If you write the numbers, some children will see that the pattern
of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. is repeated in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60.
Once your child is secure with the dimes and
pennies, see how she does with this. Put the dimes and pennies in a bag you
canít see through. Reach in, pull out one coin at a time, and add each coin to
the total. If you pick a penny, you have to add one more to the running total;
if you pick a dime, you have to add ten more.
Doing this, if you pick dime, penny, dime, penny,
dime, penny, the counting goes 10, 11, 21, 22, 32, 33. Those same six coins
could be chosen in a different order, though, and then the counting might be
1, 2, 3, 13, 23, 33 or 1, 11, 21, 31, 32, 33. It all depends on the order of
the coins being taken out of the bag. With ten pennies and ten dimes, a
colleague who teaches high school math tells me there are 110 different
possible combinations for counting the coins to 100.